Household Hazardous Waste
This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are a type of energy efficient light bulb in which the glass tubing is curved or folded to fit into the shape of a traditional incandescent "light bulb," and include a compact electronic ballast in the base of the item.
Do not throw fluorescent or other mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain mercury as well. It’s illegal and mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems. Mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish, soil, and air when they are not managed properly. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous.
The following lamps are considered hazardous in California: fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, High intensity discharge lamps, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, grow lamps, Zenon lamps, headlights - auto, mercury vapor lamps, video projector lamps, ultraviolet lamps, UV lamps, water treatment lamps, sun lamps, tanning lamps, mercury containing lamps, LED lamps. The following ballasts are considered hazardous in California: light fixture ballasts, lamp ballasts, electronic ballasts, fluorescent light ballasts, HID light ballasts, PCB containing ballasts, no-PCB ballasts.
Be sure to transport in a way that prevents breakage. If a light breaks, refer to epa.gov/cfl. If a bulb breaks, open a window to disperse mercury vapor, collect the shards with tape, and place in a closed and sealed container—do not vacuum!
How are lights recycled? Lights must be recycled at EPA-approved sites. Glass is recycled or landfilled, recovered metal is recycled, and mercury is stored, disposed, or reused.
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